The next 25 games – So, here we are Cardinal Nation; another 25 games and the St. Louis Cardinals are in the playoffs again. As far as I’m concerned, the only question is how we get there. Will it be as NL Central champs or a wild card team? I don’t really care but, I’m sure most of us would prefer we get to the postseason as division champs. Let’s take a quick look at the remaining games on the schedule.
The Cardinals have 22 games left in Sept. Of those games, 7 of those games are against teams with records over .500 and the rest against teams under .500. What may prevent the Cardinals from winning the division is the fact that the Cincinnati Reds have a similar schedule in September. So, it’s only fitting that the Cardinals play the Reds for the last three games of the regular season. The Redbirds are starting to play more consistently as evidenced by their recent games. But, they are still in 2nd place and must continue to play at a higher level befitting World Series Champs and overcome the injury bug that has seemed to plague the team lately.
The Book – If you haven’t heard, former Cardinal Manager Tony LaRussa, has a new book coming out on Sept. 25th. The book, titled, “One Last Strike: Fifty Years in Baseball, Ten and a Half Games Back, and One Final Championship Season,” reveals some of the strategy used in the 2011 World Series. Between now and the release of the book, there will be three exclusive video excerpts at MLB.com. Tony writes about other issues regarding that memorable season including his decision to retire. I don’t know about you but, I’m looking forward to it.
Cardinal Prospects – According to MLB.com, Cardinals outfield prospect Oscar Taveras is the #13th ranked prospect in major league baseball and the #1 Cardinal prospect. Although he missed a month with a hamstring injury, he hit .321 with 23 homeruns. His other stats include 94 rbis, 37 doubles, 7 triples, an OBP of .380 and a slugging % of .572. If he continues to progress, he’ll be at the major league level sooner than later.
Overmanaging? – I think there are many times in a game and sometimes before the game, manager Mike Matheny over manages the Redbirds. I don’t have any major league or minor league coaching experience so, this is my opinion as a Cardinal fan. I think Matheny is doing a fine job in his first year but, he sometimes over manages. For example, there are times, including tonite, when he tends to rest some of his starters. I understand the need for rest for any professional athlete but, in my opinion, the regular starters need to “start” every game until we have a lock on the postseason. We simply need to have our best players on the field every nite. I also think he relieves the starting pitcher too soon. There have been games where the starter was lifted in the 6th or 7th inning with us one run ahead, only to lose the game. Let the players play and the pitchers pitch. A player will never hit a “lefty” if he’s not allowed to face him in a game. And a starting pitcher should be allowed the chance to pitch out of a jam that he created instead of lifting him for a relief pitcher.
Thanks for reading. Go Cards.